Heating and cooling are critical components of a comfortable home life. Without an HVAC system, your winters would be unbearably cold and your summers swelteringly hot. Your HVAC unit works quietly in the background, keeping your home warm and toasty or cool and comfortable, but even the best systems can encounter problems in the long term. Sometimes, HVAC units break down prematurely, which means you could need an air conditioner replacement in the middle of searing summer heat. In most of these cases, it’s not a problem with the HVAC system itself, but rather a matter of upkeep–or more accurately, the lack thereof.
To help you maintain your HVAC equipment and enjoy its benefits for as long as possible, it’s important to have a basic understanding of thermodynamics, the branch of physical science that has to do with how heat interacts with other forms of energy. Your HVAC system–and truly, your entire home–is a prime example of that interaction.
Here are the principles you should be aware of that will enable you to take better care of your heating and cooling equipment.
Heat Goes Where the Cold Is
Heat likes balance, which means it seeks to occupy as much space as possible. When you open the door of an air conditioned room, for example, the cold air doesn’t rush out; rather, the hot air outside rushes in, and will keep doing so until the temperature in the room is equal to the temperature outside.This is why it’s important to keep your windows and doors closed when your air conditioner is running. Seal any gaps where cold air can escape and hot air can enter, such as the space around lights and poorly-sealed windows. Keeping your air conditioned rooms properly sealed will prevent your cooling equipment from becoming overworked, which can shorten its lifespan, increase energy output and lead to frequent air conditioner repair or even premature replacement.
When hot air is trapped, it tries to escape by rising. The spaces around lights and other such areas serve as passageways for heat to escape. In the winter, this rising heat may make your upstairs rooms warmer than the downstairs living areas. It can also make the attic too hot, baking your shingles and possibly causing moisture buildup (condensation), which can damage almost anything it touches.
The best step to take is to call a professional to perform a thorough inspection of your home. Keeping your home tightly sealed against escaping or entering air will keep it from encountering problems related to thermodynamics.
Cooper Brothers, Inc. can help you with air quality HVAC needs. Call us today at (408) 649-2008 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.